Monday, August 18, 2014


I survived. I trained for Ironman Lou in 8 weeks. When I total up my numbers, I am absolutely floored at what my body has gone through since mid June. I am thankful to have a strong body that has held up on me and allowed me to place some pretty incredible amounts of pressure upon it.  Week six and seven nearly put me under with fatigue, week eight I survived, and now I am done. Now, it's time to rest. Well, my taper actually started last week and I'm feeling rested now, thankfully. For those of you who want to know my numbers, here you go.

  These are my swim, bike and run distance totals for the last 8 weeks.

Swim-  74,400 yds (42.2 miles)
Bike-  1,132 Miles
Run-  178 miles
These last 8 weeks have been tough as you can imagine. I made a deal to Rich and to myself that if I signed up for Louisville with such a short amount of time to train for it, I would never complain about my training. Not once. I also promised to not complain about how tired I was, or how sore my body was. I can't say that I always lived up to the last two promises, but for the most part I stayed 100% motivated and dedicated. After finishing up a boiling hot run, I would run up the drive and high-five my family instead of moaning about how hot and hard the run was. It has made a difference in my overall attitude. I have remained positive and excited (for the most part). I have always trained solo for Ironmans in the past, but this past year, I began riding with other people from time to time. It certainly made bike rides go by faster. However, Rich is a real stickler about having athletes know how to go it solo. I had to forgo my fun rides with friends and embrace the suck of going it alone again. It's damn hard to ride 100 miles on your own. Every-single-time. It's important though for Ironman training. This is where some of that mental strength aspect comes into play. I've done all of my long rides solo and it never gets easier. Chrissie Wellington wrote in her book "The best way of improving your capacity to endure boredom, is to endure boredom. Spend time training on your own and challenge your mind to stay focused." If you neglect that fundamental part of training, you won't suddenly develop in on race day." So, solo I went.

Normally, I will train for around 6 months for 140.6. Eight weeks is insane. I thought that training for the distance last year with an infant was tough, but this has been so much harder. The reward will be even sweeter. I have given my absolute all. I feel good that training this time has not robbed me of 'life'. The balance has been there. I never got bored with training or burned out which is something that has always happened to me in the past. 

This sport, this distance is what I love most. It's not easy, and no, it never gets easier no matter how many times you train for and race 140.6. What I have found out though this go round is that my mind has gotten me through this training just much as my body. Mental strength is something that I have always had a problem with when it comes to this sport, but now I feel that my mind is just as strong as my body and it will get me through. I did get me through. Thanks to Izzy Justice for helping me with that.

The race is this weekend and I am excited. Louisville has become a very special place to me and this will be fourth time doing this race and will make Ironman #5 for me. I am ready. Coach has instructed me to stick to a plan this time. Louisville has always taken me down on the run. I have struggled on that run course in the worst of ways. The heat leaves it's toll and I'm left struggling. The extended forecast as of now is showing a hot sunny 99 degree race day. OUCH!

That's going to hurt. After doing this one a few times, I know exactly what to expect, but there's no harm in wishing for a cooler day. High temps mean higher heart rate, slower pace. Anyone who doesn't wish for cooler temps on race day is just a nutter. Louisville isn't a course where most set a personal best time. I just hope to have a good day and a good marathon, thats what I hope for.  Coach wants me to swim it like I've trained for it, to hold back and take it easy on the bike so as to not overcook myself for the run. I will be spinning easy up those hills, for sure. I want to have a good 26.2 miles and that's what coach wants me to focus on most. As far as the heat, in training, my heart rate is 10-12 beats higher in 90+ temps. That means my pace on the run is 60 -90 seconds slower on average than my normal pace. On the bike, my speed is typically around 1-1.5mph slower on a 90+degree day on a 100 mile ride. I know my limits with the heat now and know the speed that I must go to keep it all together.  The plan is to try and stick with the plan. No poking along in transition and coach has warned me NOT to comb my hair in T1. That will be the hardest part of my day, no doubt ha!!  I do not have a time goal.  My goal is to give it my best on Sunday and to finish with a smile. I am grateful to be able to compete in the sport that I love and thankful to be heading back to Louisville for a fourth time.

After 140.6 miles...this sight is everything!
I found these interesting Ironman Louisville statistics. As you can's a doozy. These are all of the years that I have raced Lou before. It has a high DNF rate and no doubt it's from the heat. It has been brutal out there. In 2010 they ran out of water on the bike course and it was 104 degrees that day. Now, that sucked. I cycled the last 45 miles of a 104 degree Ironman with no water. 

Lastly, I'm very thankful for my husband, my family and my friends for always supporting me and always helping me to get to the start line. Dreams don't work unless you have the support and encouragement of loved ones along the way. I am also grateful to have so many new friends in the triathlon community who get it and who are all just as crazy about this sport as me, and very thankful to Izzy J for helping me believe in me.  Here's to me being able to hold it all together on Sunday and to hoping they have enough water on the course! See you guys on the other side...


1 comment:

Colleen Kingery said...

I wish I had known you in 2010. We could have cycled the last 40 TOGETHER without the water. :(

You are going to do amazing this year. I remember seeing your smiling face last year along the course and if you keep smiling like that this year, you are going to have a great day!

Go get it done girl!!!